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Evelina: A Victorian Heroine in Venice

By Judith Harris

Evelina van Millingen Pisani was a modern woman in the age of Queen Victoria. She was born in Constantinople in 1831 to an eccentric French mother and an English father who was a doctor accused of having murdered Lord Byron. Educated in Papal Rome until the age of eighteen, she was whisked back to Constantinople by her father, now working for the sultan. While visiting Venice, this striking beauty of twenty-two met and married the aristocratic Count Pisani.

Evelina became an exotic star in the firmament of wealthy American and English socialites, artists and writers, for whom the artistic decadence of Venice was an antidote to the factories, materialism, and homophobic laws they saw at home. In her circle of friends were Isabella Stewart Gardner and an admiring Henry James.

When her husband died after twenty-seven years of marriage, the grieving countess unexpectedly found herself saddled with his mortgage debts. Inheriting the vast but rundown Pisani estate in the misty flatlands near Padua, Evelina took full charge. Becoming a hands-on farmer, she restored swampland, built an English garden and created a model farm for hundreds of tenant farmers. Through it all, she remained a pillar in the admiring Venetian set.

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Night Hawk
Flight Lieutenant Karel Kuttelwascher DFC and BAR, the RAF’s Greatest Night Intruder Ace

By Roger Darlington

Karel Kuttelwascher was the may have had a German surname, but he was a Czech who became the scourge of Luftwaffe bombers operating from France and the Low Countries in 1942. Flying with the RAF's legendary No. 1 Squadron, his destruction of fifteen aircraft in only three months brought him the DFC twice in a mere forty-two days and made him the RAF's top night intruder ace.

After his daring escape from German-occupied Czechoslovakia, he flew in the ferocious Battle of France and was then in time to participate in the final weeks of the Battle of Britain as one of Churchill's 'Few'.

During the early circus operations, he clocked up his first three kills and then played a part in the famous Channel Dash. However, it was in the lauded but lonely night intruder role that his individualistic skills came to the fore. Flying a long-range Hawker Hurricane IIC armed with 20-mm cannon, the man the wartime media dubbed the 'Czech Night Hawk' unleashed a reign of terror that included the knocking out of three Heinkel bombers in just four minutes.

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With Napoleon at St Helena

By John Stokoe

Nearing the end of his career as a ship surgeon, John Stokoe agreed in 1817 to take a three-year posting to St Helena on HMS Conqueror.

At St Helena, there was discord following Lieutenant-General Sir Hudson Lowe's controversial decision to dismiss Napoleon's doctor, Barry O'Mara.

Around this time, Napoleon asked that Stokoe, who had once attended him and who he understood was returning to St Helena, might attend him again '…or would the Governor authorise some other English doctor to come, providing he sign similar conditions as had been accepted by Stokoe in the past. Immediately after, Stokoe arrived at St Helena, was put under arrest and tried on varying counts - seven in all.

The third indictment read, 'That he had signed a paper purporting to be a bulletin of General Bonaparte's health, and divulged the same to the General and his attendants contrary to orders.'

The seventh indictment reported that, 'That he had contrary to his duty, and the character of a British Naval Officer, communicated to General Bonaparte or his attendant an infamous and calumnious imputation cast upon Lieutenant-General Sir Hudson Lowe, etc., by Barry O'Meara, late surgeon in the Royal Navy' - also now dismissed - 'implying that Sir Hudson Lowe had practised with the said O'Meara to induce him to put an end to the existence of General Bonaparte.'

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Digital Railway Photography
Creative Techniques & the Digital Darkroom

By Jeremy de Souza

Digital photography equipment and software now give enthusiasts the ability to create images of exceptional quality. For photographers who want to advance their skills, especially in post-processing techniques, Digital Railway Photography: Creative Techniques & the Digital Darkroom will help to get the best from a digital camera and the images captured to create a collection or portfolio to be proud of.

Outstanding results can be obtained without huge investment in equipment - this is a 'how to' guide for anyone comfortable with the use of their camera, willing to explore its capabilities and try new techniques. sing clear examples, you will learn how to get the best image quality from prevailing conditions and maximise the impact and creativity of your images.

Once back at home in the 'digital darkroom', this beautifully illustrated book offers tips and advice on how to use common imaging software to enhance an image and to bring out the best results in a creative manner without losing the inspiration or atmosphere of the original shot.

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